BREAKING: Virginia Democrats Push to Change the Charge For Assaulting Police Officers

Senate Democrats in the state of Virginia are currently pushing to reduce the charge of an assault on a police officer from a felony to just a misdemeanor.

“The proposal, one of 28 championed by the Virginia Senate Democratic Caucus to reform the state’s law enforcement systems, would get rid of the current law that considers an assault of a police officer a Class 6 felony and imposes a mandatory minimum term of confinement of six months,” the Daily Wire reports.

Check out what the Virginia code states:

If any person commits an assault or an assault and battery against another knowing or having reason to know that such other person is a judge, a magistrate, a law-enforcement officer … a correctional officer  … a volunteer firefighter or any emergency medical services personnel member who is employed by or is a volunteer of an emergency medical services agency or as a member of a bona fide volunteer fire department or volunteer emergency medical services agency … such person is guilty of a Class 6 felony, and, upon conviction, the sentence of such person shall include a mandatory minimum term of confinement of six months.

Virginia Senate Democrats issued the following statement: “The deaths of [George] Floyd, [Ahmaud] Arbery and [Breonna] Taylor have awoken Americans and Virginians to long-standing problems in policing in America. After people are arrested, additional damage is done by a criminal justice system that has been streamlined to produce convictions and punishment instead of rehabilitation and justice.”

Read the following reforms that the Virginia Democrats hope to make as reported by the Fort Hunt Herald: 

Prohibit No Knock Warrants

Ban Sex With Individuals Arrested by Law Enforcement

Prohibit Hiring of Officers Fired or Resigned During Use of Force Investigations

Create a Decertification Procedure for Law Enforcement Officers*

Ban choke holds and strangleholds

Require Attempts at De-escalation Prior to Use of Force

Require Warnings Before Shots Fired

Require Law Enforcement to Exhaust All Other Means Prior to Shooting

Create Duty to Intervene by Fellow Law Enforcement Officers

Prohibit Shooting at Moving Motor Vehicles

Require Departments to Create a Use of Force Continuum

Require Comprehensive Reporting by All Law Enforcement Agencies Including Use of Force Data

Defelonize Assault on Law Enforcement Officer (Return to Misdemeanor Offense)

Cancel HB599 Funding (Virginia supplemental funding for local police departments) After Local Police Have Disproportionate Use of Force Incidents in their Jurisdiction

Create Local Authority for a Marcus Alert System – System to Report Acute Mental Health Crises

Create Local Option for Citizen Review Board Empowered to Investigate, Fire and/or Discipline Officers

Confirm Prosecutors’ Authority to Drop Charges*

Enhance Courts’ Ability to Expunge Charges for Dismissed Charges, Substance Convictions and Pardoned Offenses*

Prohibit Searches of Person or Vehicle Based on Odor of Marijuana Without Probable Cause for Other Offenses*

Prohibit Stops for Equipment Violations Not Covered by State Vehicle Inspection

Secondary Offense For Dangling Objects, Extinguished Tag Light, Tinted Windows or Loud Exhaust

Jury Sentencing Only at Option of the Accused*

Eliminate Commonwealth’s Right to Demand Jury Trial When Jury Trials Suspended for State of Emergency*

Require Agencies to Determine Cost Savings for Introduced Criminal Justice Legislation

Allow Earned Sentence Credit for Good Behavior During Prison*

Create Discretion for Compassionate Release for Terminally Ill or Permanently Disabled Prisoners*

Virginia Rental Assistance Fund for Families Economically Impacted by COVID

Require and Reimburse Localities for Postage Prepaid Envelopes for Absentee Voting*

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